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Even after I've watched TCM for many years, the network can still bring to may attention someone I've never or barely heard of. Tonight, the spotlight is on Jeff Chandler. I've been doing some research on imdb. Looks like I've only seen one movie of his, JEANNE ENGELS, which aired on TCM earlier this year. Here are a few things I've learned about him:

 

He was a tireless worker. He made 50 movies in 17 years (a handful of those were uncredited narration work). Thirty four of those films were made at Universal, where he appears to have been under contract from 1947-1959, which is probably why I can't ever remember a Jeff Chandler spotlight on TCM before. He made at least one film at every major studio except RKO. His leading ladies included Maureen O'Hara, Rhonda Fleming, Jane Russell, Joan Crawford and June Allyson. He died in his early 40s from blood poisoning after routine surgery for a herniated disc. They gave him the wrong blood type, I guess? Apparently his children won a major lawsuit as a result.

 

So, kudos to TCM for at least being able to obtain two Universal Westerns to show back-to-back, the first containing Chandler's sole Oscar-nominated performance. On Silent Sunday night, TCM only has to provide two films for a primetime theme.

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People who look for films outside TCM's library are familiar with Jeff Chandler's many Universal hits. However, only one of the two Chandler pictures that TCM is airing comes from Universal. BROKEN ARROW is a 20th Century Fox release.

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Chandler's death was due to loss of blood from hemorraging from a damaged artery while undergoing surgery for some damaged spinal disc.  Anyway, the docs really "screwed the pooch" and it did result in a major lawsuit.

 

The first movie I recall seeing Jeff Chandler in was his final...MERRIL'S MARAUDERS.

 

Well, of course I've seen many since, and always thought he was pretty good as an actor.

 

And sure, does deserve a night or day to himself.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Chandler's death was due to loss of blood from hemorraging from a damaged artery while undergoing surgery for some damaged spinal disc.  Anyway, the docs really "screwed the pooch" and it did result in a major lawsuit.

 

The first movie I recall seeing Jeff Chandler in was his final...MERRIL'S MARAUDERS.

 

Well, of course I've seen many since, and always thought he was pretty good as an actor.

 

And sure, does deserve a night or day to himself.

 

 

Sepiatone

brig. general frank merrill with two Ls. :D

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brig. general frank merrill with two Ls. :D

Yep.  Was certain I hit the "L" twice.  Funky keyboard.  Sometimes I hit keys and it doesn't "take".

 

And further proof for the need to proofread.

 

Sepiatone

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Yeah, whoops, my bad. I meant to say "out of library" films but had a brain freeze.

I think BROKEN ARROW is in the public domain..not sure...but I think it is. If so, then TCM only needed to cough up money for the Universal picture, which I think they did so they could have a double feature of Chandler as Cochise.

 

By the way BROKEN ARROW plays fairly often on Encore and Retroplex.

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I think BROKEN ARROW is in the public domain..not sure...but I think it is. If so, then TCM only needed to cough up money for the Universal picture, which I think they did so they could have a double feature of Chandler as Cochise.

 

By the way BROKEN ARROW plays fairly often on Encore and Retroplex.

Two things:  BROKEN ARROW is 20th Century Fox  and it is not in the public domain.

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Two things:  BROKEN ARROW is 20th Century Fox  and it is not in the public domain.

We already covered the fact that BROKEN ARROW was a 20th Century Fox release. I wasn't sure if it was in the public domain or not. So thanks for clarifying that. :)

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I love Broken Arrow.  Great performances by Jeff Chandler and Jimmy Stewart and the love story just kills me every time.

The love story between Stewart and Paget doesn't work for me, since they share no real sparks. Stewart has more sexual chemistry with Chandler, which throws the whole thing off for me. But it's a sumptuously filmed production.

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I love Broken Arrow.  Great performances by Jeff Chandler and Jimmy Stewart and the love story just kills me every time.

 

Much of it filmed right here in picturesque Sedona Arizona.

 

(...and where there are now more than a few streets that are named after some of the movies which were filmed here back in the day, and with Broken Arrow being one of them...along with streets named Johnny Guitar and Gun Fury among others)

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Chandler was pretty cool looking. I was always bemused by his white hair - so different from other leading men.

 

I wasn't a huge fan of his movies, but there was one I watched on the late show around 1962 while I was on a really boring baby-sitting gig (big family always putting me to work sitting my dozens of younger cousins) that made my night - it's 'The Plunderers' (1960). Still my favorite Chandler movie. I wrote something at IMDb for it.

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Chandler was also a prolific radio actor.  In addition to his western series and myriad dramatic roles, he co-starred as Mr. Boynton on OUR MISS BROOKS.  By the time the show went to television, Chandler was an established screen star and Charles Rockwell took the part on TV.

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The first Jeff Chandler movie I can recall seeing was 1951's Iron Man.  He played a boxer who went up against Rock Hudson.  Actually, I think he was a coal miner who turned to boxing for some reason.  Anyway, I'd like to see this one again.

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The first Jeff Chandler movie I can recall seeing was 1951's Iron Man.  He played a boxer who went up against Rock Hudson.  Actually, I think he was a coal miner who turned to boxing for some reason.  Anyway, I'd like to see this one again.

Iron Man is not a half bad effort. Chandler plays a nice guy who, when he gets in the ring, goes a little crazy when hurt and is ready to kill his opponent. As a result, no matter how successful he is in the ring (with a reputation as a dirty fighter), the boxing fans hate him, something that eats at his insides. Hudson plays a more clean cut boxer who idolizes Chandler as a champ but has a fallout with him leading to a final confrontation between them in the ring.

 

Jeff Chandler is quite good in his role.

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Chandler was also a prolific radio actor.  In addition to his western series and myriad dramatic roles, he co-starred as Mr. Boynton on OUR MISS BROOKS.  By the time the show went to television, Chandler was an established screen star and Charles Rockwell took the part on TV.

 

Chandler is great in OUR MISS BROOKS.  According to the book "Raised on Radio," he continued to appear on the radio version of OUR MISS BROOKS for a while after his movie career took off because he and the other cast members enjoyed each others' company so much.   Episodes of this very funny radio show can be found at: https://archive.org/details/Our_Miss_Brooks_190_Episodes .

 

It's a shame that Chandler didn't appear in the movie or TV versions of OUR MISS BROOKS, although I can understand that his movie career was his priority.  Robert Rockwell was fine as Chandler's replacement in the role of Connie Brooks' hoped-for boyfriend (and fellow teacher) Phillip Boynton, but Chandler brought something extra to the role that gave it just the right comic tone.  He was a very good actor, and his early, unnecessary death was a real tragedy.

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TCM has Merrill's Marauders (1962) scheduled for Tuesday, November 24 at 4:15 p.m.

This was my favourite Chandler picture as a kid.

 

Thanks for the heads up, Bogie.  Although I too, saw it at the show when I was a kid, I never thought of it in terms of being a Jeff Chandler movie.  As I was a few weeks from turning 11 years old at the time, I had NO idea who Jeff Chandler was!  I just thought it was a cool war movie, and I went around whistling the theme for a few weeks, too.  :D  As far as being my favorite Chandler movie, I guess, due to the sentimental memory of it, you might say that.

 

 

Sepiatone

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I can never watch a Jeff Chandler movie without starting to think about the rumors that he was so hirsute that they would continually have to shave his entire body if he had to show any chest areas or other delicate parts onscreen.

 

So he may have been the first man who did the chest landscaping, unless it was Gorgeous George the wrestler.

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My favorite Jeff Chandler film is TWO FLAGS WEST, which, perhaps not surprisingly, as it features my favorite, Linda Darnell. Like BROKEN ARROW, it is a western he did at 20th Century Fox in 1950. Jeff plays an Army captain manning a fort out west during the Civil.War. He has an unhealthy obsession with Darnell, his widowed sister-in-law; he keeps her a near prisoner at the fort. His brooding portrayal leads to the climactic battle, after he kills a young Indian brave cold-bloodedly. Also featuring Cornel Wilde and Joseph Cotton, it is an exciting western.

 

Chandler later.offered Linda Darnell in a western he was producing, 1957's DRANGO. She turned it down due to stage commitments.

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RO said he was 6'4". If so, and if he was a cross-dresser, it must have been tough to find dresses that fit him.

I think we should let go of the cross-dressing myth. That has been pretty much debunked. I think Esther Williams later admitted she made it up to sell copies of her autobiography.

 

Maureen O'Hara called him a sweetheart. And Ronald & Nancy Reagan considered him a good friend. Jane Russell did too and she was furious at Esther for tarnishing Jeff's image and reputation.

 

So you have all these conservatives in Hollywood who loved him on one hand...then on the other hand, you have Esther Williams trying to promote sales. LOL

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I think we should let go of the cross-dressing myth. That has been pretty much debunked. I think Esther Williams later admitted she made it up to sell copies of her autobiography.

 

Maureen O'Hara called him a sweetheart. And Ronald & Nancy Reagan considered him a good friend. Jane Russell did too and she was furious at Esther for tarnishing Jeff's image and reputation.

 

So you have all these conservatives in Hollywood who loved him on one hand...then on the other hand, you have Esther Williams trying to promote sales. LOL

I never embraced it. My remark should have used IF in capitals. If he had still been alive at the time of Esther's remarks, she would have been hit with a defamation suit so fast, she wouldn't have known what hit her.

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